Car Parking Charges – Labour Vote to move to next stage

Sadly this evening at Wirral’s Business and Overview Scrutiny Committee, 9 Labour Councillors rejected my proposal to ask Cabinet to ditch their proposals to introduce parking charges in our Town, and other town centres and Country Parks. I have reproduced my proposal below.

1. Committee notes the numerous petitions of objection, totalling over 15,000 signatures to date.
2. Committee notes the level of public anger and opposition to these proposals.
3. Committee recognises the potential damage the introduction of car parking charges will do to the already struggling town centre shopping areas.
4. Committee also recognises that charging for parking in Country Parks, with an estimated drop in usage of 30% of users will have a detrimental effect on public health.

Therefore committee asks Cabinet to withdraw these proposals in their entirety, and, instead work with our local business and town centres to help regenerate our towns.
While we may have lost the vote this evening, Cabinet will make the final decision so it’s important people do two things to keep the pressure on the Council.

A).Sign our petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/…/say-no-to-car-parking-charge…

B) Make representation to the Council. Email Steve Atkins at: steveatkins@wirral.gov.uk and quote ref: SA/PS/2017

We can still stop this happening, so let’s do just that

You can print off a hard copy petition form by clicking HERE

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Around and about in Moreton and Saughall Massie

Yestbb-linear-parkerday I met up with my colleague, Cllr Bruce Berry to have a look at a couple of issues that have been brought to our attention.

First up it’s the footpaths around Linear Park which to be quite frank are in a terrible state with the surface breaking up, flooding etc, a real hazard if a young child falls.    We have asked the Council to deal with this before, but they have always said ‘There are no actionable defects’.

We have now asked one of the Managers for Highways to become involved and we hope he will view this area as needing some sort of resurfacing or repair.

 

bb-saughall-roadSecondly we have asked AGAIN for all the excess chippings to be swept from Saughall Road following the resurfacing late last year.

While we we walking the road we noted that in places the new surface is breaking up quite badly. It’s particularly bad near to the junction with Garden Hey Road and we have asked the Council to get the contractor back to remedy all the faults and sweep away the loose chippings.   It’s fair to say that the quality of workmanship at this location is less that satisfactory.

Live in New Brighton, Moreton, West Kirby, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Upton or Irby? – Will you be paying to park outside your house?

Last night I attended a Council Business Scrutiny workshop.   One of the items, and perhaps the most emotive was the proposals to increase the Council’s income by increasing car parking charges by 50p per hour at existing Council car parks and to introduce further car parking charges, on street and off street at nine locations across the Borough, as well imposing a £4.00 per day fixed charge at Wirrals Country Parks.

While I am waiting for further detail the hit list for the nine locations for introducing car parking charges is: New Brighton (including Fort Perch Rock), Moreton, West Kirby, Hoylake, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Upton and Irby.    The charges are likely to apply to many on street areas in our towns, so a an example in Moreton the two car parks, Holt Avenue and Garden Lane as well as on street charges on Hoylake Road, Upton Road, Pasture Road etc.    In West Kirby, along the promenade, The Crescent, Grange Road, Banks Road and side roads, In Hoylake on Market Street and the side roads etc; and so it goes on in other towns.

The Country Parks include, Wirral Country Park, Royden Park, Arrowe Park, Eastham Country Park etc and at £4.00 per day that is going to disadvantage thousands of people who simply want to visit for an hour or so, perhaps dog walkers etc.

I am aware that New Brighton resident, Darren May had the foresight to see this coming and last week started an online petition opposing the introduction of parking charges in New Brighton.   I would urge people to sign that petition ASAP and it can be accessed by clicking HERE.

I am sure other people will also be setting up petitions and you may want to sign them as well.

One thing is for certain we need to send a very strong message to this Labour-led Council if we are to stop this decimation of our Towns and Parks.

Councillor call for Wirral to take part in anti-fraud voting scheme

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Wirral Council is being urged to take part in the new pilot scheme to tackle fraud and corruption in voting.  The call follows the publication of a report into voting fraud, following concerns raised in a number of local authorities.

Among more than 50 measures proposed is the requirement for voters to be required to produce a form of ID at the polling station.

The Government has now identified 18 local authorities, most at risk of electoral fraud, which will be invited to introduce the need for ID.

At the same time, the Government is asking other local authorities to take part to enable the full impact of ID to be assessed.

Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative, Moreton West & Saughall Massie Ward) has now written to Wirral Council’s Chief Executive asking for Wirral to take part in 2018: He said, “This is long overdue – while we must encourage everyone to take part in voting, we must also make sure the process is secure and that votes can’t be lost or stolen.  Asking for ID when voting, as already happens in Northern Ireland, and many other countries, is a common sense way of making sure that voter fraud does not become widespread. It also sends a message that voting is important and that it matters.”

Chris Skidmore, Minister for the Constitution added: “The government’s view is that electoral fraud is unacceptable on any level. I want to protect the right of everyone to have their say and participate in our democracy.”

Among the ID that is considered acceptable will be a UK, Irish, EU, or Commonwealth passport; a UK, Irish, or EU driving licence; other official photographic identity cards, such as a proof of age card; or a locally recognised photographic identification card (e.g. local travel card or pass).

Sadly it seems an unnamed Council Officer has simply said the Council won’t take part.   You can read more on that here

“I am disappointed that an unnamed council officer had simply thrown this into the long grass.  Under the Council constitution electoral matters are for Wirral’s Licensing Committee to determine and I hope that due process will follow and this matter fully considered by that committee and a democratic decision is made by elected members and not a Counci, officer.

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Background:

Wirral Council is first in Merseyside to adopt charter on Motor Neurone Disease

mnd-pic-28-nov-16-at-wthLast night at its Council meeting, Wirral Council became the first council in Merseyside to adopt the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter after campaigners contacted councillors in the summer, asking for action to improve the way in which people with MND are supported.

MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. It kills around a third of people within a year of diagnosis, and more than half within two years. There is no cure.

The move followed a call by the MND Association to ensure councils adopt the MND Charter as a clear commitment of their support to people with MND and their carers.

There is no cure for the disease and so the Motor Neurone Disease Association, representing people with the disease, their families and friends, campaigns for better care, as well as the right to early diagnosis. In some cases, people have waited up to three years for a diagnosis.

Councillor Steve Williams, who, with Cllr. Chris Blakeley, met campaigners and submitted the request for better care, said: “Having met the MND Association’s Wirral group and listened to their stories, I am really pleased that Wirral Council has now agreed to support them by adopting their Charter. I hope we will now be able to speed up diagnosis and improve the standards of care for people with this complex and cruel disease.”

Debbie Williams, speaking on behalf of the Association’s Wirral group, added: “The importance of the MND Charter is undeniable. We want everyone to be clear that access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time, as set out in our Charter, can transform lives.”

Golf Resort cash bid called in for questioning

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A move to spend a further £600,000 on Wirral Council’s hopes to create a ‘golf resort’ has been called in by 18 Conservative Councillors.

The ‘call in’ of the recent decision by the Council’s Cabinet means that the spending will be on hold until it can be scrutinised at a Town Hall committee.

Moreton and Saughall Massie Councillor Chris Blakeley said: “Wirral Council has already spent more than £230,000 on assessing whether this plan is feasible.

“We are now faced with an ever-rising bill, at a time when Council spending should be focused on priority services. We believe a decision to spend further money on the project should be looked at more carefully.

“The Council must also complete its consultation on the proposal before committing further cash. Otherwise, it will be exposing the Council Taxpayer to the risk of losing almost a million Pounds on a project that may never see the light of day.”

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The Call in document can be read by clicking HERE

Councils Firework budget goes up in smoke as costs double!

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The cost of Wirral Council’s collaboration with Liverpool City Council to provide a ‘River of Light’ have risen from £30,000 to £56,000.

The latest figures, provided to Councillor Chris Blakeley, following complaints that the Town Hall is promoting the event as ‘free’.

Councillor Blakeley said: “Once again, we see those at the top of the Council playing fast and loose with people’s hard-earned Council Tax. It’s bad enough that half the local community bonfires had to be scrapped to make way for this event. Now, we find the costs have spiralled and, as usual, we’ll probably find out they are even higher after the event.”

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